Women of Substance. Seekers of love. They are within our midst but we do not notice them. We tend to live frantic lives these days, too busy to reach out to others that we fail to savor their happiness, the palpable joy that will move you, amuse you and remind you that love finds you at the right time and at the right place.

A few years ago, Ms. Irene Maria Orbeta was yearning for someone to be in her corner of the world, someone with whom she could share her hopes and dreams and even her disappointments. She was longing for someone to talk to, to share her worries and wishes, so she tried meeting someone at Zoosk, an online dating site and there she met Larry Gene Smallwood, a retired marine from Columbus, Ohio USA. Ms. Irene and Larry started chatting on January 8, 2017 and as their friendship deepened, fate presented them with a certain event that would help them to make wise choices and take responsibility of their future.

After several months of getting to know each other, Larry decided to come to the Philippines and meet Irene in person. So on September 18, 2017, he finally arrived in Manila to meet Irene and her family. This visit gave Irene hope and she gained wisdom and knowledge to deal with the change that was about to happen in her life.

Truly, none of us know exactly what the future holds but we can choose to carry on with love in our hearts and wings for our flight. There are endless possibilities to reach our goals if only we open our hearts to these opportunities. And this is what Larry and Irene decided to do. Last April 8, 2018, Larry and Irene were married in civil wedding rites in Ilocos Norte, with the bride’s family in full attendance.

The love story of Irene Maria Orbeta and Larry Gene Smallwood is proof that love is a wonderful mystery waiting to be solved. To Irene and Larry, keep on believing. Your love story is a masterpiece unfolding.


“You are never too old to set another goal to dream another dream” – C.S. Lewis